Chris Eubank confirmed he did tell his son to stop punching Nick Blackwell's face during a brutal fight that left the 25-year-old fighter in an induced coma.
Blackwell was beaten in the 10th round by Chris Eubank Jnr on Saturday and was taken to hospital after collapsing. He was later found to have a small bleed on the brain and has been in a coma ever since.
With Eubank Snr keen for the fight to be stopped, he found himself asking his son to work the body to protect Blackwell. Now, for the first time, Eubank Snr has revealed why he wanted his son to stop with the head shots in advice that may well have saved Blackwell's life.
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Eubank Snr told a press conference: "Even in sparring, I tell Junior to stay away from the head because his punching is fast, powerful and dangerous. So most certainly I was saying this to protect the fighter. He had the fight won. This is a dangerous sport and we are real.
"No celebration by Team Eubank has happened and will not happen until Nick makes a full recovery, and I mean full recovery."
Blackwell remains in a coma at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, but sources close to the family have suggested that he could be brought out of that state by Wednesday.
Fellow boxer Billy Joe Saunders wrote on Twitter: "Spoke to Nick's Dad. Looking good he will be back to in no time. Keep him in half thoughts and prayers. God bless him and you all."
A Blackwell family spokesperson said on Monday: "We would like to thank the public for their many messages of support for Nick.
"They are much appreciated. No official statements have been made either by ourselves or the hospital.
"We would like to clarify that, given the unsubstantiated rumours and statements in the media, we would like privacy while Nick receives treatment."
Stopping the fight
While Blackwell remained competitive for most of the fight, referee Victor Loughlin has faced criticism for allowing the fight to continue, potentially leading to the boxer's injury.
Neurosurgeon Peter Hamlyn told the Daily Telegraph: "It was clearly a one-sided fight by the seventh or eighth round and it should have been stopped.
"He took too many uppercuts and he suffered a blitz. It seemed insane for it to go on, because only one man was going to win the fight."
It drew comparisons with a fight involving Eubank Snr and Michael Watson. The latter was left fighting for his life after a brutal encounter which saw him spend 40 days in a coma.
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